Abualdahab Street Development
1990 - Cairo, Egypt
The Abu Al Dahab Street project attempts to provide such an alternative to these conventional approaches through a novel and experimental development method that relies on harnessing the people’s creativity in the community. In all living communities there are rituals that express regenerative creative outputs. When these rituals are highly developed they may adopt the festival as an intensified form of this productive energy. How the festival as a development tool is translated is site specific to the street and its community culture. In the case of Abu Al Dahab Street, crafts workshops were used in directing this creative community energy. The main objective of this project is to identify and rediscover local mechanisms to engage the community creatively to implement relevant productive activities to improve their social, economic and physical environment. This objective is twofold in its aim. The first is enlisting the participation of the community while concentrating and harnessing their creative energy in indigenous productive activities. The second is focusing the activities to address specific community development issues and to affect real changes, either physical or behavioural. Through developing the festival, a traditionally practiced and understood mechanism, into an effective and creative community development method this project hopes to challenge professionals to rethink and reevaluate conventional methods that may not fully engage target groups by using foreign application tools. In the third part of this report a set of illustrative prescriptive guidelines are provided for the implementation of the festival. The pilot project to rehabilitate the traditional urban street of Abu Al Dahab is used as the illustrative case study that accompanies the guidelines.